Welcome back! Our second year together has had an amazing start and the students and I are excited to share our learning and experiences with you. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts with us as well. Enjoy exploring!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fifty Nifty United States!

We're learning about mapping and are focusing on the 50 states of our very own country! To conquer this we have divided the students into groups of 5, mixed with all Synergy classes, to study the 5 different areas of the United States; the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and West. At the different workshops the students are learning which states are in each section and what are some fun facts from that part of the country.

I am in charge of the Midwest. When I was learning the 50 states, I always struggled with this part of the country because it has the "M's" (Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota)and the "I's" (Iowa, Illinois, Indiana)and I always used to get them confused. I have been so impressed at how the students have been able to recognize, locate and label the different states. They have really been loving the unit and doing a great job with it! The landmark that they are finding most fascinating about these states is Mount Rushmore. "How can they carve faces that big into the rock?" is the question I have been hearing a lot.

While looking at the location of the different states, the students have been learning about the Compass Rose and it's 8 directions. To help with the key four, North, East, South, and West, we have been using the saying, "Never Eat Soggy Waffles". The kids think that this is just the neatest trick and seem to really grasp the idea and can then understand the four other directions such as, Southeast. I encourage you to add these words to your discussions, "Which crayon is to the north of the blue crayon?" Be sure to keep it fun!

I have added some links on the right of the blog to some on-line games about the states' locations and fun facts, as well as the Compass Rose. There is also a link to the song that we are learning called the "Fifty Nifty United States". Have fun exploring these sites with your kiddos!

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